The Canadiens pick Juraj Slafkovsky first overall in the NHL Draft


He was preferred to Canadian Shane Wright, who has long been considered the best prospect, and American Logan Cooley. The two had been named earlier in the week by general manager Kent Hughes as part of a select trio of players, along with Slafkovsky, who could be chosen by the club in the first tier.

The CH was also active on the exchange market. He first sent defenseman Alexander Romanov and the 98th draft pick to the New York Islanders against the 13th pick. Then he sent that 13th selection and 66th to the Chicago Blackhawks to get Kirby Dach, a 21-year-old center, third pick in 2019.

Then, with his second first-round selection, he took another Slovakian player, right-handed striker Filip Mesar, in 26th.

 » I think I didn’t hear my name. I just heard Slovakia and then didn’t listen anymore. I was shaking, I had chills. It was an incredible moment for me. »

A quote from Juraj Slafkovsky, 1st pick in the 2022 draft

It’s an incredible moment for me, for my family, for everyone who supported me and also for all of Slovakia, he said. We needed something like this. It’s also a special night for me because Simon Nemec was the second choice (see below). And that, I didn’t see coming.

It was a big surprise for me, he continued. We had meetings, but it is impossible to know anything about these meetings. I could only hope while waiting for this, but now it’s reality.

The 18-year-old left winger did not have a very successful 2021-2022 season in terms of points in the Finnish league (SM-liiga). He only registered 5 goals and 5 assists in 31 games for TPS Turku.

They shake hands in blue suits in the stands of the Bell Center.

Juraj Slafkovsky is congratulated by Shane Wright.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Graham Hughes

However, he stood out at the Beijing Olympics by finding the back of the net seven times in seven games. He and his teammates also won the bronze medal, and he was named the tournament’s best player.

The 1.93m (6ft 4in) player has also represented his country at the World and World Junior Championships. He has amassed nine points in eight games.

The 18-year-old had told the media that the rank he was drafted at did not matter as much as being described as the best player in his cohort when he retired.

This week we had three hopes [en vue]. We feel like we’ve done a great analysis of each of them, both in person and on video. I would say that on Wednesday morning we realized that we were leaning towards Juraj. We wanted to meet him one last time to ask him important questions for usexplained Kent Hughes in an interview.

He has a very dynamic personality. He is very charismatic. We asked him about his favorite moments in hockey. He said it’s when you lose by one goal or win by one goal, when the match is tensehe added.

Following the suspense of the repechage, Juraj Slafkovsky answers the burning questions.

Juraj Slafkovsky rubbed shoulders with the coldness of some fans when he arrived at the Bell Centre, who obviously had their favorite in Shane Wright and who booed the Slovak when he greeted the fans. But he is not worried with this reception which preceded the decision of the Habs.

Hockey is their passion, as it is for me, he said. Maybe some of them don’t like me, but I’m going to do everything I can to play well for this team and maybe one day they’ll like me.

The Slafkovsky wolf and the Wright eagle

Alexandre Gascon met Slovakian prospect Juraj Slafkovsky on the sidelines of the NHL prospect camp in Buffalo in June. Maintenance.

Shane Wright’s Slide

The New Jersey Devils surprised the draft pundits again with the second selection. They have set their sights on another Slovak player, defender Simon Nemec.

For Slovak hockey to be the first two choices is fantasticlaunched Nemec at the microphone of Sportsnet.

The Arizona Coyotes then selected Logan Cooley, who played in the United States National Development Program and in the United States Hockey League last season.

In total, the 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) center has tallied 40 goals and 71 assists in 75 games. He was drafted by the University of Minnesota for the 2022-23 season.

It was ultimately the Seattle Kraken who ended Shane Wright’s ordeal, calling his name in the fourth row.

The young man dons the Kraken sweater.

Shane Wright (center)

Photo: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett

At 15, in 2018, the athlete from Burlington had obtained the status of exceptional player to play in the Ontario League.

The 1.83 m (6 ft) Canadian center amassed 32 goals and 62 assists last season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). In 2021, he helped Canada win gold at the World Under-18 Championship by scoring 9 goals (a Maple Leaf record at this tournament) and 5 assists.

It was only in 22nd place that a first representative of the QMJHL, and a first Quebecer, was selected. Nathan Gaucher, a right-handed center from the Quebec Remparts, was chosen by the Anaheim Ducks. Then, Maveric Lamoureux was the second Quebecer selected in the first round when the Arizona Coyotes made the giant size defender (2.01 m) from the Drummondville Voltigeurs the 29th prospect to be called to the podium.

The remaining six rounds of the repechage will take place on Friday, still at the Bell Centre.

The order of the first round

1. Montreal Canadiens

Juraj Slafkovsky

2. New Jersey Devils

Simon Nemec

3. Arizona Coyotes

Logan Cooley

4. Seattle Kraken

Shane Wright

5. Philadelphia Flyers

Cutter Gauthier

6. Columbus Blue Jackets (from the Chicago Blackhawks)

David Jiricek

7. Chicago Blackhawks (from the Ottawa Senators)

Kevin Korchinsky

8. Detroit Red Wings

Marco Kasper

9. Buffalo Sabers

Matthew Savoie

10. Anaheim Ducks

Pavel Mintyukov

11. San Jose Sharks

Conor Geekie

12. Columbus Blue Jackets

Denton Mateychuk

13. Chicago Blackhawks (from the New York Islanders through the Canadiens)

Frank Nazar

14. Winnipeg Jets

Rutger McGroarty

15. Vancouver Canucks

Jonathan Lekkerimaki

16. Buffalo Sabers (Vegas Golden Knights)

Noah Ostlund

17. Nashville Predators

Joakim Kemell

18. Dallas Stars

Lian Bichsel

19. Minnesota Wild (from Los Angeles Kings)

Liam Ohgren

20. Washington Capitals

Ivan Miroshnichenko

21. Pittsburgh Penguins

Owen Pickering

22. Anaheim Ducks (from Boston Bruins)

Nathan Gaucher

23. St. Louis Blues

Jimmy Snuggerud

24. Minnesota Wild

Daniela Yurov

25. Chicago Blackhawks (from the Toronto Maple Leafs)

Sam Rinzel

26. Montreal Canadiens (from the Calgary Flames)

Filip Mesar

27. San Jose Sharks (from the Coyotes, through the Hurricanes and the Canadiens)

Filip Bystedt

28. Buffalo Sabers (from the Florida Panthers)

Jiri Kulich

29. Arizona Coyotes (from Edmonton Oilers)

Maveric Lamoureux

30. Winnipeg Jets (from New York Rangers)

Brad Lambert

31. Tampa Bay Lightning

isaac howard

32. Arizona Coyotes (from the Colorado Avalanche)

Reid Schaefer

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